"Modernism intro fact sheet"
Modernism 1914-1939 “Men travel faster now, but I do not know if they go to better things” -Willa Cather Major Events World War I 1914-1918 Women’s Suffrage (19th Amendment) 1920 The Great Depression 1929 Modernism A desire to break with the past after WWI and the economic crash Disillusionment with the American Dream American Dream: America is a new Eden A belief in progress Triumph of the individual Calls for bold experimentation form, style, and content of art Rejection of traditional themes and styles Created the “flawed hero” Modernism influences Marxism Russian revolution threatened to spread. Conflicted with American system of capitalism and free enterprise “I have seen the future and it works” Lincoln Steffens Psychoanalysis The unconscious mind: id, ego, superego. o Focuses on our subconscious and the meaning of dreams 1 literary result o Stream of consciousness—abandoned chronology and attempted to imitate the moment-by-moment flow of a character’s perception and memories Katherine Anne Porter and William Faulkner Literary Groups Poetry Influence from Europe, especially Paris. Symbolism o Influenced by French symbolists o Like romanticism sought reality beneath appearances by emphasizing emotion o Rejected old symbols in quest for new ones o Valued imagination o Believed nature and modern society lacked spirituality Imagism (1912-1917) o Stripped poetry of sentimentality and artificiality to focus on the raw images o Believed the image alone can carry a poem’s emotion and message Others wanted to speak plainly in poetry o Robert Frost The Lost Generation Term coined by Gertrude Stein Refers to expatriate writers in Paris Most influential writer: Hemingway o Reduced the flamboyance of literary language to the bare bones of the truth it must express Jazz Age Term coined by F. Scott Fitzgerald Bootleggers, speak-easies, cocktails, short-skirted flappers, new rhythm of jazz, the gangster. Extravagance influences by prohibition Harlem Renaissance James Weldon Johnson, Claude McKay, Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen New York City was the geographical center Consciousness of African Americans was the spiritual center